Maine Lighthouse

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Things to Do in Maine in 2022 – Attractions & Activities in Maine

Maine has so many fun attractions, it’s no wonder it is nicknamed “Vacationland.” There are SO many great things to do in Maine – no matter your interests or the time of year you visit!

Whether you like big adventure, or just beautiful sightseeing, boating, golfing, biking, skiing, or just visiting lighthouses in Maine, antique shops, playhouses, museums, and galleries, there’s something for everyone in Maine.

Maine is rich with attractions and amusements. You can see Maine’s beautiful coast, mountains, and lakes by biking in Maine, hiking in Maine, kayaking in Maine, or boating in Maine.

You can also see Maine by scenic plane ride, or on skis, snowshoes, or snowmobiling in the winter. Nature lovers will find Maine’s got lots of wildlife with plentiful moose Safaris, bird watching, deep sea fishing, and hunting.

Use our guide to Maine attractions below to plan your visit filled with fun, education on vacation, spectacular scenery, quaint coastal towns, and adventure during your stay.

Desert of Maine - Freeport, Maine
Desert of Maine | photo via @bojmaietta

Featured Attractions in Maine

From Casco Bay to Portland to the Kennebunks and everywhere in between, Maine’s got something for everyone to do, no matter your interests. Here are just a few of our favorite things to do in Maine.

Wood Island Lighthouse Tours | Saco Bay

The Wood Island Lighthouse tours may be one of the best-kept secrets in Southern Maine. Immerse yourselves in the history and lore, which include rescues, heroism, Sailor the bell ringing dog, and even an 1896 murder/suicide.

You’ll experience one of Maine’s oldest lighthouses, including a trip to the top of the tower and a visit to the restored keeper’s house. Tours are offered in July and August.

Desert of Maine | Freeport

The Desert of Maine has been a beloved and iconic tourist destination for nearly 100 years. Discover how 20 acres of rolling sand dunes were formed in the middle of a lush Maine forest after the last ice age and the fascinating history of the “Desert.”

The Desert offers self-guided tours, a one-of-a-kind natural playground, an imaginative labyrinth for kids called “Gemstone Village”, a fossil dig, a brand new mini golf course, a story walk for younger children, and a beautiful landscape for visitors of all ages.

Discover the site of a building buried under 40 feet of sand since WWII. The Welcome Center is a charming 1930’s era building featuring a gift shop and a classic snack bar serving ice cream, hot dogs, kettle corn, and more.

Oxford Hotel Casino l Oxford

Oxford Casino Hotel is always open and always fun! Experience round-the-clock casino excitement on an expanded gaming floor, including nearly 1,000 slot machines and 30 table games. Oxford Casino’s hotel features over 100 rooms and a new pub-style restaurant offers the best in Maine and New England cuisine.

If you’re looking for a gaming experience that’s uniquely Maine, you’ll find it right here, just minutes from Portland.

Rugosa Lobster Boat Tour | Kennebunkport

Board a classic New England lobster boat for a coastal Maine tour, which departs daily from the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport.

Cruise the Kennebunk River, past the breakwater and beach to Bumpkin Island to view seals. You’ll also get a chance to view Walker’s Point – the Summer White House of the Bush family. Your captain hauls live lobster traps, while you enjoy views of the stunning shoreline and seaside mansions of Ocean Avenue. The tours are also available for sunset cruises and private charters.

Pineapple Ketch l Kennebunkport

Join Captain Troiano aboard The Pineapple Ketch for a 90-minute sail out of Kennebunk Harbor along the Southern Maine Coast.

Departing daily in season from the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, the tour can be as hands-on or as laid back as you would like; haul lines, raise sails, take a turn at the helm or just sit back and take in the beautiful views and fresh ocean air.

Palace Playland - Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Palace Playland | photo via @alifelivedingranite

Fun Attractions and Recreation in Maine

Of course, Maine beaches are one of the top attractions, but there is so much more to do. Whether you want to dig in and explore Maine’s rich history, indulge in some shopping at an outlet mall, taste some of the freshest seafood you’ll ever eat, or enjoy the outdoors, you can do all that and more on a visit to Maine.

Acadia Air Tours | Acadia and Bar Harbor

One of the best ways to see Maine in all its glory is with a scenic airplane, biplane, and glider ride over Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park.

Fly in a historic biplane over Acadia National Park, lighthouses, and Bar Harbor, or choose the quiet soaring excursion of a glider ride from a mile high over spectacular Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor Airport.

Visit One of Maine’s Amusement Parks

Amusement parks are fun for the whole family and Maine has some great ones that visitors of all ages can enjoy.

Palace Playland in Old Orchard Beach is Maine’s premier beachfront amusement park and is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Enjoy park favorites like a giant arcade, a beautiful carousel, Kiddieland, a Ferris Wheel, and great rides.

Funtown/Splashtown U.S.A. in Saco is home to Excalibur, Maine’s only wooden roller coaster and ranked one of the top 10 in the world. Voted one of the cleanest parks in America, it offers many rides, slides, pools, gift shops, games, arcades, and eating facilities.

Play a Round of Miniature Golf

Mini golf is another great family activity and you can visit any of these great mini golf courses in Maine:

  • Pirates Cove Adventure Golf offers 36 holes of championship mini golf within walking distance of the beach in Old Orchard Beach.
  • Cascade Golf Range in Saco offers traditional golfing as well as practice areas for putting and driving.
  • Schooners Mini-Golf in Saco is one of the largest 18-hole mini-golf courses in southern Maine and offers a fun round, a great view, and tasty ice cream.
  • Sunset Ridge Golf Course and Sports Park in Westbrook offers miniature golf, plus a driving range, swimming pool, batting cages, tennis, basketball, and shuffleboard.
White Water Rafting

Awesome Ocean Recreation in Maine

With miles of scenic coastline by the ocean and some of the most beautiful land you’ll find anywhere, Maine is the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors. If you want to kayak, go fishing, go on a Moose safari or even go hiking, you can do it all!

Maine Kayaking

Sea kayaking is a fun and memorable way to see Maine’s rocky scenic coast. Maine Kayak offers half-day, full-day, multi-day island camping overnight, inn-to-inn, and naturalist trips in Mid-Coast Maine.

Southern Maine Kayak Tours and Kayak Rentals is a full-service kayak company based in Kennebunkport, Maine, and serving Southern Maine from York to Portland. Kayak rentals are delivered to your choice launch location and guided tours depart from your chosen location.

Go on a Moose Safari

Many visitors come to Maine expecting to spot a moose, the official Maine state animal.

Although Maine has one of the healthiest moose populations, with an estimated 29,000, they are harder to spot than you may think. Moose safaris, tours led by skilled guides, take you to the right place at the right time.

Professional moose tours are typically offered in the Northern regions of Maine, in the early morning or evening.

Climb Up Mt. Katahdin

Located in Baxter State Park of Maine’s Highlands, Mt. Katahdin is the highest mountain in Maine at 5,268 feet. Katahdin means “The Greatest Mountain” in the language of the Penobscot Indians.

Katahdin has become a popular destination for hikers, backpackers, and campers – with a strict camping season between May and October. Visitors can choose from a variety of easy to moderate trails, while experienced hikers may choose a more thrilling route to the summit.

Experience White Water Rafting

Whitewater rafting has become a very popular sport in Maine, with many whitewater outfitters offering trips on the Kennebec, Penobscot, and Dead Rivers.

Maine is the only state in the Northeast that can guarantee water levels even during dry summers due to daily hydropower dam releases.

Rafting trips can range from day to overnight trips, with visitors staying at local campgrounds, lodges, or cabins by the river.

Ocean Adventures in Kennebunkport

Kennebunkport has been a popular seaside tourist destination for more than a century and it’s not hard to see why.

It’s situated right on the Kennebunkport River, just a mile from the mouth of the river right on the Atlantic Ocean. Its location makes it a prime spot for unforgettable ocean adventures.

Sail on the Schooner Eleanor

Visitors can sail aboard a Maine-built schooner right from Kennebunkport. Two-hour trips take you down the historic Kennebunk River to sea.

Enjoy the peace and quiet of cruising under sail. Learn about local maritime history, help work the sails, or just sit back, and relax.

Board the Libreti Rose II for a charter fishing trip

Captain Bruce looks forward to having you, onboard the Libreti Rose II, for a memorable fishing experience.

Private fishing charters close to shore are designed for the time you have available. Two to four-hour trips are ideal for families with children.

Coastal Kayak Tours l Bar Harbor

The leading kayak tour company in Bar Harbor, provides half and full-day tours, sunset kayak tours, and even multi-day island camping trips by kayak.

Registered Maine Guides provide instructions, narrative, and wildlife education on your sightseeing kayak excursion.

Captain John’s Charters | Saco

This is the perfect way to get outside and explore the ocean. The company offers cruises, fishing charters, whale-watching excursions, and private charters in the areas surrounding beautiful Camp Ellis and Saco Bay.

Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park - Freeport, Maine
Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park | photo via @terrydunlapphotography

Maine Wildlife Refuge, State Parks, and Nature Walks

Maine has some much space to explore and there are so many great walks, parks, and wildlife refuges in the state.

Ferry Beach State Park | Scarborough

Ferry Beach State Park features 117 acres of beach and nature trails. Lodging and camping are available at the nearby Ferry Beach Association.

Scarborough Marsh Nature Center l Scarborough

Maine’s largest salt marsh is best explored by canoe and guided and self-guided canoe tours. Keep your eyes peeled for an abundance of shorebirds. 

Gilsland Farm l Falmouth

Just north of Portland, this environmental education center and 65-acre sanctuary is a bird watcher’s paradise.

There are more than two miles of trails to explore and the trails wind through orchards, meadows, forests, and other terrains. The Maine Audubon Sanctuary also offers trails, field trips, and a gift shop.

Maine Wildlife Park l Gray

If you’re looking to see some stunning Maine wildlife, keep your eyes peeled all over the park and along the nature trails for moose, bear, deer, cougars, eagles, and more.

Wells National Estuarine Reserve at Laudholm Farm l Wells

Visitors can explore 1,600 scenic acres of research reserve including a 19th-century saltwater farm, the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge area, Laudholm Farm Visitors Center, exhibits, and seven miles of spectacular marsh walkways and trails along marshes, fields, and wetlands.

Marginal Way l Ogunquit

If you’re looking for a scenic walk, there may not be a better one in Maine than this one. This one-mile walking path goes right along the ocean and ends at Perkins Cove.

Wood Island Lighthouse - Biddeford, Maine
Wood Island Lighthouse | photo via @newenglandbests

Visit Scenic Maine Lighthouses

One of the best parts of Maine is the many scenic lighthouses that can be found throughout the state. Often referred to as “The Lighthouse State,” Maine is home to 65 still-standing historical lighthouses.

Having once acted as beacons of light and safety for sailors, today they have become a part of Maine’s history and are popular tourist attractions.

A few of our favorites are:

  • Cape Elizabeth Light/Two Lights State Park, located near Casco Bay features two lighthouses perched atop the rocky shoreline.
  • Portland Head Light is Maine’s oldest lighthouse. Commissioned by George Washington in 1791. Adjacent to Fort Williams Park. Large grounds with picnic facilities and a museum on the premises.
  • Owl’s Head Lighthouse in Rockland rises nearly 100 feet above Penobscot Bay. You can also visit the Maine Lighthouse Museum in town to learn some Maine history.
  • The West Quoddy Head Lighthouse in Lubec is well known for its candy-striped tower and is the easternmost point in the continental U.S.
  • Burnt Island Light near Boothbay Harbor is known for its red light which can be seen for 12 miles. Its foghorn can be heard for miles as well and the lighthouse has a lot of history attached to it.
  • The Cape Neddick Light in York, also known as the Nubble Lighthouse, is considered the quintessential American Lighthouse and was constructed in 1879.
Eartha - Yarmouth, Maine
Eartha | photo via @our_wandering_canvas

Indoor and Outdoor Recreation in Maine

Beyond the scenic popular attractions in Maine, there are so many great recreational opportunities – both indoors and out! Some of our favorites include horseback riding, bowling, cross-country skiing, and even taking old-fashioned train rides…

Harris Farm Cross County Ski Center | Dayton

If you love cross-country skiing, this is one spot in Southern Maine you’ll want to stop at. It’s just 30 minutes from Old Orchard Beach and has 40 kilometers of groomed cross-country trails and offers snowshoeing too.

Come back for other fun events during the year too, including maple sugaring in March and a pumpkin patch in the fall.

Carousel Horse Farm | Casco

This scenic farm offers guided trail rides on horseback through 5,000 acres in the Jugtown Forest with scenic views of Mt Washington.

Arrangements can be made for rides along the beach and private rides on your own property or parks that allow horses. Carousel’s horses are cared for, responsive and gentle for beginners.

Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad | Portland

No trip to Maine (or Portland for that matter) is complete without a stop here. The railroad is fun for all ages and offers visitors a chance to ride along Portland’s waterfront in a historic narrow gauge.

Mainely Tours l Portland

Hop aboard Maine’s original trolley tour and prepare to see Portland from a new point of view!

Enjoy a fully narrated city tour (with a stop at the Lighthouse!), a 90-minute harbor cruise, shopping in the Old Port, and so much more. Several daily tours depart each day, so you can go whenever you have time.

The company also offers land and sea tours if you want more options for seeing all the wonders of Maine.

Smiling Hill Farm | Westbrook

In the winter, Smiling Hill offers roughly 25 kilometers of groomed trails to ski on. The farm is located just a few minutes from Portland and the views around the farm are magnificent.

L.L. Bean - Freeport, Maine
L.L. Bean | photo via @catherinemarion2022

Indulge in Some Maine Shopping

Maine is loaded with local craftspeople, artists, chefs, and jewelers. Whether it’s lobster or lighthouse decor, starfish and sea glass jewelry, beautiful seascape-inspired art, or Maine-made blueberry jams and maple products, you will find many wonderful handmade Maine items in small boutiques.

Score some bargains at Maine outlets in Kittery, Freeport, and Bangor, and seek out unique Maine discount stores like Martens and Reny’s.

Shop the Kittery Outlets | Kittery

Just 50 minutes south of Old Orchard Beach, shoppers can visit over 120 outlets and the Kittery Trading Post with savings of 20-70% daily.  This shopping mecca is often referred to as America’s Maine Street for outlet shopping.

Visit the L.L. Bean Flagship Store | Freeport

LL Bean made his Maine clothier and outdoor gear, since 1913, famous with an amazing guaranteed return policy, and the most open hours anywhere.

Visit the flagship LL Bean store in Freeport, open 24/7/365, just to see the Bear and Moose, the massive Bean Boot and by all means, buy something- it’s guaranteed forever, no matter what!

Shop Til You Drop at the Maine Mall l Portland

Over 135 stores including restaurants, theaters, and more await shoppers who visit South Portland.

More Unique Shopping in Maine

  • The Old Port l Portland’s Historic District offers over 158 shops, 65 restaurants, 28 galleries, and numerous pubs. All are located in a charming five-block area lined with cobblestone streets on Portland’s historic waterfront.
  • Saco Valley Shopping Center has 12 stores, 2 banks, and a restaurant, plus free parking.
  • Antique Shops and Auctions can be found all along Rt 1 in Kennebunk, Wells, Ogunquit, York, and Kittery.
Carousel Music Theater - Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Carousel Music Theater | photo via @carousel_musictheater

Excellent Live Entertainment in Maine

  • Salvation Army Pavilion Amphitheater in Old Orchard Beach is an outdoor amphitheater featuring live entertainment throughout the summer for the entire family.
  • Comedy Connection in Portland features some of America’s top professional stand-up comedians.
  • Southworth Planetarium in Portland has shows for children and adults including laser concerts.
  • The Portland Symphony Orchestra offers concerts year-round as well as special events.
  • The Portland Concert Association has dance, opera, musical theater, jazz, and more.
  • Portland Opera Repertory Theatre offers Grand Opera in Portland’s magnificent Merrill Auditorium.
  • Cumberland County Civic Center offers music concerts, sporting events, and more.
  • Children’s Theater of Maine offers live theater for adults and children.
  • Portland Public Library offers storytelling and entertainment for children.

Summer Concerts and Theatre in Maine

  • Vinegar Hill Music Theatre in Arundel, is a music venue in a historic barn, bringing top local and national talent to an intimate Maine setting.
  • MaineStage Shakespeare Theater in Kennebunk has free, outdoor performances of Shakespeare plays in Lafayette Park in the heart of downtown Kennebunk.
  • Ogunquit Playhouse Summer Stock Theatre in Ogunquit is Maine’s most famous and historic summer playhouse with Broadway plays and top talent.
Strawberry Banke Museum - Badger's Island, Maine - Things to do in Kittery
Strawberry Banke Museum | photo via @zdenek55

Museums & Historical Societies in Maine

  • Old Orchard Beach Historical Society features historical memorabilia from the Old Orchard Beach area since the 17th Century.
  • The Saco Museum has paintings, decorative art, tools, period furniture, and more from the 18th century to the present.
  • Maine Maritime Museum in Bath is a historic shipyard site and maritime history building on the Kennebec River.
  • Willowbrook at Newfield is a restored 19th Century Village with 36 buildings and 11,000 artifacts including an 1894 carousel.
  • The Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland houses one of the finest collections of work by American artists. Visitors can enjoy the work of Winslow Homer, Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Sully, Eastman Johnson, and many others.
  • Boothbay Harbor offers the Museum in the Streets and as you travel through town, you can stop and read the placards about the town’s history.
  • The York Historical Society offers seasonal tours of some of the oldest and most historic buildings in Maine. York is one of the earliest English settlements and a great place to learn about Maine’s coastal heritage.
  • The Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick is on the campus of Bowdoin College and welcomes visitors with a pair of Medici lion sculptures. The museum’s permanent collection has more than 20,000 pieces and includes a wide spectrum of art from different cultures.
  • The Conway House in Camden is part of the Camden-Rockport Historical Society and visitors can tour the house, see historic artifacts, and visit a blacksmith house and a maple sugaring house among other activities.
  • The Project Puffin Visitor Center in Rockland invites visitors to learn all there is to know about colorful, coastal puffins. Visitors will see murals and learn about local conservation efforts too.
  • The Ogunquit Museum of Art in Ogunquit may be small, but it houses a collection of more than 3,000 pieces. These pieces include paintings, jewelry, new media, photography, and more.
Portland, Maine - Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine | photo via @rouwho_

Things to Do in Portland

As the largest city in Maine, Portland is home to lots of people and lots of popular attractions. Portland is especially renowned for its museums, which house the work of famous artists, famous authors, and must-see exhibits.

  • Portland Museum of Art is Maine’s largest and oldest art museum. Designed by world-renowned I.M. Pei, it features fine and decorative art from the 18th century to the present.
  • Portland Observatory is the last maritime signal tower in the US. It was built in 1807 as a communication tower for the harbor and visitors can soak in that history on guided tours.
  • The Children Museum of Maine offers fun for all ages, including exhibits, a toddler park, a cave and farm, interactive science exhibits, a space shuttle, and Camera-Obscura-Theater.
  • Wadsworth-Longfellow House is the boyhood home of the famed 19th Century poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and is open seasonally.
Seashore Trolley Museum - Kennebunkport, Maine
Seashore Trolley Museum | photo via @campingcrazysteph

Things to Do in the Kennebunks

The Kennebunks are so fun to visit and offer so many fun things to do. If you’re looking for fun things to do in Maine, a trip to the Kennebunks needs to be on your bucket list. You can marvel at many a majestic Victoria Mansion, stroll along Dock Square to check out boutiques, or even visit a fun museum.

Seashore Trolley Museum l Kennebunkport

The largest electric railway museum in the world has railway fun for the whole family. Tour the various displays and exhibits from carbarns to the exhibition shop. Visitors may also ride a streetcar along a rebuilt portion of the Atlantic Shore Line 

Baxter Museum | Gorham

In 1908, James Phinney Baxter built a public library in Gorham and opened his childhood home as a museum. Besides local artifacts, Baxter Museum displays Civil War artifacts, Annie Louise Cary memorabilia, portraits, and paintings.

The Penobscot Marine Museum | Searsport

Dedicated to the preservation, documentation, and exhibition of the history of Penobscot Bay and the maritime history of Maine. It is a unique seafaring village comprised of thirteen historic and modern buildings, many of them former sea captains’ homes.

Extensive maritime, photographic, and genealogical holdings. It is open to the public year-round for maritime and family research. The museum offers visitors, young and old, a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Maine’s rich maritime heritage and includes hands-on exhibits for children.

Portland Sea Dogs - Portland, Maine
Portland Sea Dogs | photo via @bellissimanh

Fun Sporting Events in Maine

Sporting events are great for the whole family and there are some great places in Maine to enjoy some sports up close.

Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough hosts auto racing Saturday nights.

The Portland Sea Dogs are the Double-A baseball farm team for the Boston Red Sox. Home games are held at Hadlock Field, Portland, from late April through early September.

Colony Beach - Kennebunkport, Maine
Colony Beach | photo via @gowithlindsey

Taking in the Natural Beauty of Maine

Visit Maine’s Scenic Beaches

Maine has so many beautiful beaches from long soft stretches of sand like Ogunquit Beach, to rocky beaches with perfect smooth pebbles, tidal pools, and quiet coves with horseshoe beaches, to broad open strands that surfers love for the big breaking waves.

Maine’s popular beaches are unlike anywhere else in the world, given the 8-14 foot twice daily tide, Maine beaches are incredibly scenic and unique.

Sandy beaches along the Southern Maine Coast are great for family fun in the sun, while State Parks further up the coast are more secluded but often the most scenic.

See Maine’s Natural Assets

Beaches are beautiful to walk, explore and relax on, but Maine is also host to wonderful walking trails, bike paths, and seaside walks like Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm, Parson Way in Kennebunkport, and Belfast’s waterfront walk.

Acadia National Park offers a labyrinth of carriage roads and hiking trails to explore. In the lakes and mountains, hikes and bike paths lead to incredibly scenic spots. Enjoy the great outdoors in the Pine Tree State.

A visit to Acadia National Park is not complete without a visit to Sand Beach, a hike or bike around the park trails, and a drive up Cadillac Mountain for fantastic sunrise or sunset views.

Camden Hills State Park is another awesome spot to see the best of Maine’s natural beauty. There are trails to Mount Battie, Mount Megunticook, and other scenic locales.

See Beautiful Maine Sunrises and Sunsets

See the first light of day from atop Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, on Mount Desert Island. This dramatic mountaintop, which you can drive up, is incredibly scenic anytime, but amazing at sunrise.

This vantage point and many more on the Maine Coast are equally amazing at sunset as the last light of day glows on the ocean and the shore.

Taste Maine By Sampling Some Delicious Seafood

Eat some local Maine seafood, lobster, fried clams, shrimp, scallops, oysters, and the local fresh catch of the day.

Whether you dine at a fancy four-star restaurant on artfully prepared lobster out of the shell, roll up your sleeves at a roadside clam shack and crack open your own lobster, or enjoy a lobster roll picnic at the beach, that’s up to you…just be sure to have a Down East feast while you are in Maine.

Go For a Swim in the Atlantic Ocean

Take a swim in the Atlantic in the summer, Maine’s cool seashore offers a refreshing swim – you might even say it’s bone-chilling cold.

The Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day at Kennebunk, Old Orchard Beach, and Portland is a real thrill and chill. In Maine’s fresh-water lakes and rivers, the water temperatures trend toward the chilly too.

Jump into a good old-fashioned swimming hole if you dare.

Go Camping and Discover More of Maine 

Camping is a unique way to discover the natural beauty of Maine.

Whether you are planning to go deep in the woods or have ocean views, Maine campgrounds provide all your camping needs. Maine has over 542,000 acres of national and state parks and nearly 5,000 miles of coastline – ideal settings for camping.

Many campgrounds offer swimming, fishing, hiking, and activities on-site.

Maine vacations are either too short, or the state is too big. There is so much to see and do, so don’t try to squeeze it all in a week.

Consider exploring a section of the Maine coast, or a few Maine lake towns at a time. It’s called Vacationland, so you can come back again and again.

Acadia National Park - Maine - Fall Scenic Drive
Acadia National Park

Activities in Maine by Season – Summer, Fall, Winter

The Pine Tree State certainly lives up to its license place moniker: Vacationland. There is a plethora of things to do and places to explore in the spring, summer, fall, and winter in Maine.

Amazing Summer Fun in Maine

The Maine coastline is loaded with beautiful beaches from sandy stretches for miles of walking, surfing, and swimming to tidal inlets with tidal pools.

The kids will find plenty of fun things to do at the beach from discovering sea life like starfish in tidal pools to building sand castles.

Boating in Maine is some of the best in the country with a fascinating coastline; longer than California’s in fact. Maine has many harbors for weekend sailing excursions or a weeklong windjammer cruise, or for paddling about in your kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or canoe – or a rental from the many kayak excursion companies.

For power boating, sailing, kayaking, and canoeing, Maine’s inland waterways, rivers, and lakes offer crystal clear blue water for boating and swimming, even white water rafting trips. The summer is also a popular time for camping trips and biking!

If this sounds like too much effort, take in some of Maine’s culture… summer playhouses, craft fairs, and festivals to sample the way life used to be, or at least – “the way life should be” – so goes the State slogan. Take a scenic air tour in a biplane or glider to get a bird’s eye view of the great State of Maine without the exercise!

Excellent Fall Fun in Maine

In the fall, hiking and biking are among the best ways to see the spectacular turning of leaves. There are plenty of trails and paths for mountain biking in Maine including the Eastern Trail.

Taking a bike out on a ferry to the outlying Casco Bay of Long Island and Peaks Island makes for a great day of adventure. You can even mountain bike on paths, parks, and mountain bike terrain parks. Sunday River hosts special bike events as does Shawnee Peak.

If you prefer road cycling, exploring the Maine coast and the Western Lakes and Mountains can be exhilarating. Generally the further inland from the coast, the hillier the terrain becomes.

Baxter State Park and Acadia National Park offer some of the world’s best hikes. Katahdin is infamous, especially hiking the Knife’s Edge. Katahdin is part of the Appalachian Trail that makes its way up the Eastern seaboard for a grand finale in Maine.

Cadillac Mountain and the Beehives on Mount Desert Island are legendary to summit.

Also in Acadia, you will find miles of beautiful Carriage Roads, originally the concept of J.D. Rockefeller, ideal for walking and biking. Annual cycling events include Tour De Cure, Trek Across Maine, and the Dempsey Challenge – all of which are fundraisers!

Hunters and fishermen love Maine for its rare, natural beauty and bounty of wildlife to be discovered and hunted. Be sure to brush up on the wildlife, fishing, and hunting regulations and registrations before you go.

Memorable Winter Fun in Maine

Due to its northern location, skiing in Maine is ideal in the wintertime. Maine is also home to some World Class ski destinations such as Sugarloaf, Sunday River, and Saddleback. Many Maine ski resorts offer full-service amenities in addition to great trails, from lodging and ski schools to shopping, apres ski, and dining – enough to keep you entertained on and off the slopes!

Maine becomes a snowy playground during the winter. Skiing at Maine’s best resorts, Sunday River and Sugarloaf offer a great ski experience with alpine and cross country, snowboarding and tubing, on excellent natural snow, terrain parks, and swift lifts with spectacular scenery.

Maine’s northernmost location makes it an ideal place for winter sports, often with the most natural snow in New England. Maine is also home to the most terrain and snowmobile trails in the Northeast. Many lodges in Maine offer snowmobile rentals and tours for your convenience.

There are a dozen ski areas in Maine. Snowmobiling is another popular winter pastime in Maine, snowmobile clubs groom hundreds of miles of paths or you can just ride au naturale.

Year-Round Fun in Maine

Mainers are lucky enough to live in this Vacationland year-round even if it’s too cloudy for sunbathing at the beach or too chilly to ski the slopes.

Of course, Mainers manage to find plenty of things to keep us busy regardless of the season. Trying your hand at luck in a game of blackjack, for example. Gambling at Maine’s casinos is an exciting pastime even if you’re not a big spender (or a big loser).

Maine is a great place for a shopping spree too. Ladies and gentlemen alike can take to our many thrift shops, outlets in Kittery or Freeport, chic boutiques, or explore antique shops, craft fairs, and flea markets.

When researching activities you would like to do during your vacation, you may do well to make a list of things to do on a rainy day.

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park
Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park

Plan Your Unforgettable Trip to Maine Today

No matter the season, come to Maine for outdoor fun, recreation, and exploration – you won’t be disappointed – except perhaps that you wish you had more time to stay and play!

Mainers are incredibly proud, often funny, pragmatic people, so keep your ears peeled for all kinds of Maine slang. They work hard, laugh often, and have a strong sense of Yankee-ism. Mainers can also be sarcastic, so consider yourself warned.

But they’re also very nice and happy to show off the best that Maine has to offer. So come and see for yourself why Maine is one of the most beautiful, exciting, and fun places in the nation to visit.

Whether you want to see unbelievable, unforgettable national beauty, spend some time on the water, enjoy some live entertainment, or indulge in some deliciously fresh seafood, Maine offers it all and so much more.

So plan your trip to Maine today and be prepared for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, lots of great memories and so many must-visit attractions.

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